Adult film actress Sarah Shevon drove up the Pacific Coast Highway one spring evening last year to a job she said her talent agent had booked for her at a gated Malibu estate on Dume Drive.
Richard Nanula had big jobs at Disney, Amgen and Miramax. Now he is alleged to have filmed sex scenes with porn actresses. After parking her green Toyota Tercel in front of the five-bedroom Mediterranean villa, Shevon said, she walked in and met her costar, a well-dressed man who asked to be called "Mr. Rich," the year-old actress believes, was Richard Nanula, who until last month was chairman of the Miramax film company and a principal at the private equity firm Colony Capital.
Nanula, 53, reed from those positions July 7 after two websites published video images of a man they identified as Nanula having sex with adult film actress Samantha Saint. Neither he nor his representatives have publicly denied that he was the man in the pictures, and Nanula did not respond to requests for comment. Nanula's departure from Miramax was a surprise twist in a career marked by rapid ascension to the top ranks of corporate America. At Disney, Nanula helped rescue Euro Disney Resort from financial quicksand by restructuring its debt and negotiating the sale of a stake in the theme park to a Saudi prince.
Regis and other chains. As part of the team that acquired Miramax inhe was expected to bring back the glory days the company enjoyed under founders Bob and Harvey Weinstein, when it produced Oscar winners like "Pulp Fiction" and "Shakespeare in Love.
That's when it was announced that Nanula was taking a leave of absence for "personal reasons. The son of an African American mother and a white father, Nanula grew up in Pasadena, attended UC Santa Barbara and went to Harvard Business School, where he worked "quickly, well and efficiently," remembers friend and classmate Greg Maffei.
Nanula was able to have fun too — from the back row of the classroom, which Harvard students termed the "skydeck. When he became CFO of Disney … we knew it was fast. He was one of the top five or six people in a class of overachievers.
Nanula received his MBA in and went straight to Disney after he and a handful of other Harvard students impressed company executives — including Eisner — with a presentation on the feasibility of a potential theme park attraction. Nanula started out as a senior planning analyst and was promoted quickly.
A certified public ant, Nanula was adept at conceptualizing financial matters and struck Disney colleagues as intelligent, articulate and funny. In he was named chief financial officer, among the youngest ever at a Fortune company. He was also one of the highest-ranking African American executives in the country. Harvard Business School classmate Alex Jamison remembered discussing Nanula's rise with fellow graduates.
Nanula's salvaging of the ailing Euro Disney Resort fulfilled Eisner's faith in the young executive. The park near Paris opened inbut only after delays and cost overruns.
The maneuvers gave Disney time to turn the property into a success. Inwhile at Disney, Nanula married one of the company's executive assistants, Tracey Hart. She would later file for divorce. Nanula left the company inlured to Starwood Hotels by a Harvard classmate and friend, Barry Sternlicht, the chairman of the company.
Nanula moved his family to Connecticut to become chief executive of what was then the largest hotel and resort chain in the world. But he left after about a year for a stint running an Internet start-up and a seat on the board of Expedia Inc. By then, Nanula was the father of three young children, and the family lived lavishly.
Their Malibu home was staffed with a chef, personal assistant and nannies. There is no response from Nanula in the case file disputing the allegations.
Inafter a six-day stint at a rehabilitation facility, Nanula told his wife that he was cured of his addiction, according to her divorce declaration. But Tracey Nanula said in the declaration that she "could not escape the realization that [Nanula] had been having sex with prostitutes and other women for some 16 years and lying to me about our lives together.
Steve Silverman, an activist Amgen shareholder, said Nanula was a low-key CFO who "did not want to call attention to himself. Nanula also gave up his Boeing board seat, which he had held since A year later, he ed Colony Capital as a principal. On Jan. Shaw, a former paralegal at the company, said she was groped by the executive in January Colony declined to comment, as did Shaw through her attorney.
There is no response in the case file from Nanula and Colony disputing the allegations, and the matter is in arbitration. In the adult entertainment industry, it's known as a "private": an intimate, off-camera encounter between a porn actress and a paying customer.
Two years ago, Sarah Shevon said, fellow actress Trinity St. Clair asked her to perform a private with a man at a Malibu home. Shevon said she saw it as an act of prostitution and declined. Then last year, Shevon said, her talent agent, Mark Spiegler, approached her with another offer from St. As before, oral sex would be performed at a Malibu home, but this time it would be for a movie on St. Clair's website, said Shevon, who has worked in the adult entertainment business since and shoots as many as 10 movies a month.
Shevon took the job, acting with "Mr. Rich" in the April video shot at the Dume Drive residence, which a public records research firm indicates was associated with Nanula from November until February The property was owned at the time by Earl Kaplan, who said his real estate agent leased the home to "somebody in the film industry" whom he did not know.
The agent did not return calls seeking comment.
Shevon was reminded of the Dume Drive encounter with Mr. Rich when TheDirty. Shevon recognized the man in the images as Mr. After TheDirty. Saint did not respond to requests for comment.
Clair's website. The money was in a Colony Capital envelope, Saint said.
The name on the envelope made her suspicious, Saint told AVN last month, and after doing research she came to believe that her costar was not a professional porn actor. Saint told AVN that she had her attorney make sure that the scene was posted to St. Clair's website to legitimize the shoot.
Shevon believes that her April encounter was filmed so that it would not be a criminal act of prostitution. She has never seen the finished video, and does not know whether it was ever posted on the Internet.
Dan Miller, executive managing editor of the industry trade magazine XBiz, said that taping the encounter might have been seen as a way to avoid breaking the law. Shortly after Shevon filmed the scene, St. Clair booked two of Spiegler's clients for separate night shoots in Malibu.
As with Shevon's costar, Spiegler said, St. Clair identified the actor as an ex-boyfriend of hers named Richard. Spiegler said he had second thoughts — porn films are typically not shot at night, or in Malibu — and requested a sit-down with the actor. Spiegler now identifies Nanula as the well-dressed, sophisticated man he met at Cafe Habana Malibu in June Spiegler said he asked to review the man's medical tests to confirm that he had no sexually transmitted diseases, and was surprised to see that the came from a private physician and not one of several San Fernando Valley clinics typically used by porn actors.
Spiegler subsequently canceled the shoots. He formally stepped down from the posts less than two weeks later. Nanula also relinquished his chairmanship of LodgeNet Interactive Corp.
Thomas J. Barrack Jr. All Sections. About Us. B2B Publishing. Business Visionaries. Hot Property. Times Events.
Times Store. Facebook Twitter Show more sharing options Share Close extra sharing options. ZIP: 74340